Advent in Art – 1st Sunday

1. It’s come back positive: the Annunciation in Townsville

It’s come back positive: the Annunciation in Townsville.
Jan Hynes, 2002.
Oil on canvas. 120 x 150 cm

Luke 1: 26-38 [The Message]
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her: “Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, beautiful inside and out! God be with you.”

She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: you will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’ The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; he will rule Jacob’s house forever – no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.”

“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Yes, I see it all now….” Then the angel left her.

Reflection: (look carefully at the image, moving from right to left) Pregnancy was a tremendous surprise to Mary. Not what she expected or wanted. As a single woman, pregnant, her life and future was potentially ruined.

Every time you light the first candle this week, think of women who will struggle with this news – those in unstable relationships, raped, in war zones and disaster areas.

Advent in Art is a project of World Vision New Zealand and Australia for the spiritual nurture of their staff.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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